My mother was an indoor gardener, a lover and collector of houseplants. During high school, my mother gave me my first houseplant, a Crassula ovata, or jade plant, as she must have known I needed a succulent- low maintenance. When I left for college I was growing a Philodendran cordatum, or Heart-leaf Philodendron, so long it was trailing up and along the window molding and around the closet door frame. I, also, had a small collection of African violets and, of course, my jade plant. Even though mom was never tolerant of our southern heat and humidity, she would fondly reminisce about her mother’s Alabama flower garden. Mom’s favorite flower that her mother grew was Convallaria majalis ‘Bordeaux’ or Lily of the Valley. I think it was these coversations with her that gave me the deep connection I have with flowers, gardening, and people.
This morning my salmon colored Pelargonium x hortorum, or geraniums, spoke to me, reminding me of a fun time in my life. For about ten years every March around the second week, my mother-in-law would come to visit. It was her birthday week and she would come to celebrate it with our family. Anna would arrive between three and four o’clock in the afternoon with the back of her stationwagon loaded with huge salmon colored geraniums. Sweet joy! My heart would sing with the rejuvenating new life of spring! Being late winter, my lawn had not “greened-up” yet and my flower garden wasn’t in full swing, so to see those rich salmon, spherical, floral clusters so boldly shooting out from the ruffled edged, deep green, round leaves was sheer exuberance for me! Her annual birthday visit always heralded in spring a week early!
What gardening, flower, or nature connections do you have with your mother? Please share.